This week the shortlist for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry was announced and – for the first time ever – one of the books I nominated for this prize has been selected. I think it’s a strong list and I can’t think of any other recent poetry award (can you?) that doesn’t have a white male poet on it, so the shortlist itself is something new and innovative to my mind. There were a few disgruntled comments on social media about all of the shortlisted works being books (the award is open to poetry in all forms and formats) but in fact Tishani Doshi’s entry is both a book and a dance performance and Susan Richardson’s book is also a collection of illustrations. You can read more about the shortlisted poets and read sample poems on the Poetry Society’s website.
Bloodaxe Books (publishers of Tishani Doshi) also shared this gorgeous film of her dance performance of the title poem of her collection:
Other poetry news I’ve noticed this week is Magma magazine‘s new submission window which has opened. Magma has a different theme and different editors for every issue. The next issue will be edited by Yvonne Reddick and Adam Lowe and the callout is for poems to do with ‘Loss’. All the details are here. The window opened on 1 March and ends 30 April.
I also saw that novelist, short story writer, poet and teacher Toby Litt is running a free ten lesson course in short story writing on his blog. Short stories are sometimes close cousins to poems, I think. Anyway, I’ll be dipping into this course and thought you might like to know about it too.
Saturday was the monthly meeting for our Stanza group in Trowbridge. We met at Drawing Projects UK as always and took the opportunity to visit the 2018 Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize (previously the Jerwood Drawing Prize) which is on show at DPUK until 26 April. More details about the show and opening times here. It’s really worth a visit.
It was brilliant that poet Tom Sastry joined us for our Stanza meeting (Tom was supposed to read for us last month but unfortunately the meeting had to be cancelled because of snow and ice on the road) and gave out some Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival brochures – the brochure is now available online at the festival website. Tom is Poet in Residence for the festival and it looks like it’s going to be terrific – and not too expensive.
I’ve finally made the decision to leave Facebook (kind of) after months, if not years, of thinking about it. My family didn’t want me to delete fb completely because they like the photo albums I’ve assembled there, so I’ve logged out and turned off all notifications but not actually deleted the site. This might mean that I’ll lose some blog followers/readers who access my blog from there but I hope not. It feels quite exciting to have left!